NFL players post video calls in the league to condemn racism and support black players

He joined the Houston Texans Qubackback Deshaun Watson in a video, released Thursday night, other football stars including Odell Beckham Jr., Patrick Mahomes, Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Tyrann Mathieu, Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley.

In the video, they asked the NFL to issue a statement condemning police racism and brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“How many times should we ask you to listen to your players?” Tyrann asked Mathieu.

“What will it take?” DeAndrea Hopkins answered.

“That one of us isn’t killed by police brutality?” Jarvis Landry asked.

Promising not to silence them, the players cited suggestions on what the NFL can say.

“So, on behalf of the National Football League, we’d like to hear that from you, the players,” they said at the same time. “We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systemic oppression of blacks. We, the National Football League, admit wrongly in the silence of our players to protest peacefully. We, the National Football League, believe that black lives are important.”

NFL stars are largely united in seeking justice for Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died on May 25 after begging for help while a white police officer knelt on his neck as he nailed him to the ground.

Racism has been persistently accused by the NFL, especially after former San Francisco 49ers striker Colin Kaepernick began kneeling before the games while the National Anthem was played to protest police brutality.

No team has offered Kaepernick a contract since 2017, which many attribute to his protests. Kaepernick accused NFL team owners of fraud to prevent him from signing. The NFL rejected any scams, but in 2019 they reached a settlement with Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid, who knelt with him.

Protests against Floyd’s murder continued in all American cities, and many sports stars took part.

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Thomas this week criticized Saints ’opponent Drew Brees for saying he“ will never agree with anyone who doesn’t respect the flag, ”a reference to the national anthem protest movement started by Kaepernick.

Brees later apologized for ‘insensitive’ comments.
Authorities arrested Derek Chauvin, a former police officer who 8loy nailed Floyd to the ground 46 seconds before he died. Prosecutors charged him with third-degree murder and second-degree murder. He was also charged with second-degree murder this week.

Three former officers who were at the scene were also arrested and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Leah Asmelash contributed to this story.

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